Skip to Content

Where To Euthanize a Dog For Free: 5 Ideas + Low-Cost Euthanasia

Making the decision to euthanize your beloved dog is incredibly hard without any additional burden.

However, the financial side of euthanizing a pet is not to be neglected.

While not everybody can afford at-home euthanasia, a private cremation, and a fancy urn, we should definitely all try our best to make our pets’ end of life as comfortable as possible.

Before you consider euthanasia at all, please do make sure it’s absolutely necessary and not just due to behavior, old age, or simply personal reasons (space, time, money).

This option should only be considered after a vet has made sure there is absolutely zero quality of life for that dog.

If you’re tight on money and want to save on euthanasia, that’s okay but please make sure the certified vet is only using approved methods and solutions for a pain-free passing.

Never skimp just to get cheap euthanasia where your dog will suffer in hist last seconds or even minutes.

Below is a table with real-world pricing for cheaper euthanasia options.

Where To Euthanize a Dog For Free

You might be able to euthanize your dog for free after surrendering him to the Humane Society or a local shelter. Alternatively, check if your vet offers payment plans, or if there’s a local charity.

Insurance might also cover the euthanasia fee, but often not the burial or cremation so make sure to check upfront.

Naturally, insurance is only helpful if you have an active plan. In that case, they perhaps paid the pet’s medical bills up until now. However, if money is tight, chances are there’s no pet insurance at play.

Depending on your financial situation, discussing options with your vet is always worth a shot.

While your vet may not be able to do it completely for free, they can have generous discounts or payment plans.

Veterinarian in white coat rubs a black Labrador's belly on a table.

Euthanising at your local vet with a payment plan is probably the best solution if you want to have some control and be in the room in your pet’s final moments.

Dog owners who are strapped for cash might qualify for charity funds if they’re a resident in that area and can provide proof of low income.

The Human Society or your local shelter may euthanize your dog for free if you surrender your pet to them.

However, with this option, your pet’s passing is not in your hands anymore and it may be possible that you can’t be present during the process and you also don’t get the ashes back.

More affordable options across the US are listed below.

Low-Cost Dog Euthanasia (by US state)

Low-cost dog euthanasia is usually offered by Humane Societies and local shelters which may discount even further if you’re local or have a low income.

Euthanasia alone costs $35-$75 for smaller dogs, whereas the cost for euthanasia for larger dogs ranges from $40-$130.

Generally, the larger your dog is the more it will cost, especially if you’d also like communal cremation or even a private cremation (i.e. you get the ashes back).

Owners of large dogs may be better off seeking out a Humane Society with flat fees, whereas small dogs usually pay a premium with flat fees since their euthanization can be cheaper elsewhere.

Euthanasia plus cremation for small dogs costs $60-$100. For large dogs, the cost is $110-$240.

Again, please make sure euthanasia is the only option due to a medical issue that can’t be solved.

Never accept shady practices with non-approved sedatives or solutions to avoid your dog suffering during euthanasia.

US StateEuthanasia onlyEuthanasia & CremationEuthanasia & Private Cremation
AHS Minnesota$85$110$170
SPCA, Pennsylvania/$75-$105$145-$275 (incl. urn)
BHS, California$40-$70$95-$125$145-$320 (incl. box)
PSAS, California$40$80-$140$190-$240
HS Southern Arizona$65$130$190
HS Broward, Florida$75/$190-$340
HS Harrisburg, Pennsylvania$35-$70$100-$235$135-$300
HS Beaver, Pennsylvania$40-$100//
HS SV, California$130$175-$240$295-$430
HS Marin, California$75$175$225-$450 (incl. box)
HS San Diego, California$50//
HS Pikes Peak, Colorado/$85$160
HS Delaware, Ohio/$45-$95$60-$175 (incl. tin box)
HS Knox, Ohio$45$60$80-$220
HS, Kansas$60//
HS Spokane, Washington$45$95-$165$175-$325
HS Kitsap, Washington$35-$125$75-$325$130-$445
HS, Hawaii$100$125-$150$300-$400
HS Lynchburg, Virginia//$125
HS NW, Michigan $40-$80$95-$380$140-$420
HS NT, Texas$50//
HS Capital, Nebraska$40$95-$115$125-$195 (incl. bag)
HS, Western Montana$60-$75$85-$175$125-$245
HS, Idaho/$100-$130/
Low-cost euthanasia by US state with pricing

I do not personally endorse or recommend any of these organizations (and don’t view them negatively either), just exemplary pricing.

Please be aware that these prices are just examples of what they cost right now.

As you can see, some shelters or humane societies only offer euthanasia while others are only available coupled with a communal or private cremation.

Again, I’d suggest only using this option as a last resort. Talking to your vet about a free euthanization should be your first address.

Dog owners who’ve been to the same vet for years and are local residents have the highest chance of the vet waiving their fee.

Whatever you do, make sure to put your dog’s comfort first, should you manage to find a free euthanasia service.

If not, payment plans, surrendering your pet, or even small loans (perhaps from friends and family) are available to make your dog’s passing as pain-free as possible.

About Danielle

I am the founder of PawLeaks where I share weekly tips on dog training and behavior. Sharing a passion for dogs and helping owners to solve problems through understanding canine behavior and modification is my number one goal.


Friday 17th of June 2022

You said personally you would not choose any of the above businesses. Where then do you recommend? I’m at the hard place of thinking about needing to put my senior Maltese down. I’m looking at how to do it for him with grace and dignity and not spend a lot of $ cause I’m a senior on a limited income. This is a very tough decision and I’m still at a loss of what to do for him!


Saturday 18th of June 2022

Hi Kathy, sorry but you got that wrong. "I don't personally recommend" means I have not dealt with any of those personally so I can't say whether or not they're good. I'm just not endorsing any of them directly, but not discouraging people to contact them either.

That being said, I would not opt for these as I'm not qualified for these programs and would probably choose my regular vet for at-home euthanasia but of course, that costs a lot.

If I was in a place where I need them, these services are great choices. Just beware that some shelters/organizations require you to give your dog up which isn't necessarily a good option. Also, make sure they use approved meds. Other than that, you're free to get quotes from as many as you'd like and check where you're the most comfortable.

Ask your regular vet if they can do something for you or inquire about local programs. Other than that, Humane Societies might be your way to go. Of course, only after a vet is certain that nothing can be done for your Maltese.